man's shoulders

The shoulder is a complex joint; it’s able to move in every plane of movement. This mobility benefits our daily activities and allows us to complete a multitude of tasks. However, this also means that our shoulders must be strong in all planes of movement. Therefore, shoulder stability is important for overhead athletes and anyone completing daily tasks.

Shoulder instability involves increased laxity of the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). Individuals may feel increased pain in the entire shoulder region following an activity and may cause the shoulder to feel like it “slips” out of the joint.

Signs and symptoms of shoulder instability include:

  • Fatigue or weakness when completing repetitive activities
  • Numbness or tingling traveling down the arm
  • New onset of clicking or popping sensation in the shoulder
  • Pain or laxity (instability) when completing an overhead activity
  • Pain or feelings of unsteadiness when pushing, pulling, or lifting an object

Due to the shoulder joint’s complexity, many muscles are involved in the balance of movements. The muscles work together to ensure proper movement of the scapula and humerus to complete movements through the entire range of motion. Some of our favorite exercises to enhance scapular stability include:

Wall Angels and Wall Slides
Kettlebell carries
Push-up shoulder taps
Overhead 90/90 External rotations
Prone Swimmers

woman lifting cow bells  Man sitting lifting cow bell weightWoman weight lifting

Increasing the strength of the stabilizing muscles has been shown to improve the strength and range of motion of the entire shoulder joint. Be sure to talk with your physical therapist to get the proper treatment for what you need to enhance your shoulder stability! If you’re curious about physical therapy, read more here about what a physical therapy evaluation should include. Or contact the experts at Pure Physio, where we now offer TelaRehab consultations!